COVID-19 Business Emergency Assistance & Recovery (BEAR) powered by UM Initiative


COVID-19 Business Emergency Assistance & Recovery (BEAR) powered by UM Initiative

The University of Montana's Business Emergency Assistance & Recovery (BEAR) Initiative is in collaboration with the Missoula Economic Partnership and the Missoula Economic Recovery Task Force.

The University of Montana is providing a simple “single point” of entry to companies requesting assistance or guidance in responding to the Covid-19 crisis. We will seek to connect businesses to individuals, programs or organizations that are best placed to assist you. Assistance may be from one of UM's Accelerate Montana economic development programs or from individuals and organizations external to the University. Please understand that we'll do our best but we may not be able to help every business. Our immediate priority is helping companies access SBA loans under the "PPP" loan program passed by Congress.

Tell us a bit more about you and your company and your needs so we can best determine how to assist you by hitting the "Request Business Assistance" button.

Be sure to review the quick reference resources provided below that may provide fast answers to some of your questions.   

Questions or areas of assistance might include:

  • SBA or CARES Act Loans (including Emergency injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program
  • Other SBA Loan Programs
  • Other CARES Act questions
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Employee and Unemployment Questions
  • Legal questions unrelated to the above options
  • Financial projections and related financial management advice
  • General business strategy advice including:
    • Moving business activities online
    • Remote working
    • Product & Service Innovation

*By submitting a request, you agree that your information will be privately shared with the administrators of the database, and relevant individuals or organizations for the purpose of matching you with help. The organizers are not to be held responsible for any guidance or counsel given.

Quick Reference Resources

Please review the Missoula Economic Partnership's COVID-19 Approach for Employers. This document includes links to the latest guidance on the CARES Act & SBA Loans.

Check out our other resources:

Five Things You Can Do Now

According to several law firms in Missoula, the five steps you should take right now as a business owner are:
  1. Take Measures to protect the health and safety of your workforce. Implement the Family First Corona Virus Response Act
  2.  Evaluate your contracts and assess for needed modifications
  3. Understand your liquidity, work with a team of advisors if needed
  4. Reach out to your preferred lender, or directly to the Small Business Administration, to access SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Assistance loans, a portion of which may be forgiven depending on your circumstances.
  5. Explore either the SBA’s PPP loan program, or Employee Retention Credit (“ERC")

SBA Covid-19 Relief Options

The U.S Small Business Association has funding options for small businesses impacted by Covid-19. These relief programs consist of many options, such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, SBA Debt Relief, and Restaurant Revitalization Fund.